Justice for Ricky

It was the year 2020 when America turned it into chaos. We lost WWIII and President Randall Thump was killed by a North Korean missile that stuck his plane while making a visit to China. From there as years went on the poverty rate increased rapidly across America. Criminal rates were outrage, becoming harder for the government to control. People murdered in the streets day and night, every day. New drugs were being introduced in the black community, killing more than 4x a dozen of young children every month. Bank robberies increasing every year. It was getting even harder for families to even survive in their neighborhoods.
    Until the American government made a deal with Professor Edwin Xeno. He was a billionaire from France who owned Tech Life industries back in his hometown. He provides the world with newer and better technology changing it forever. Professor Xeno offered the American government with a program called “X 101,” a robot police force that runs 24/7, putting the law back into action. Since this program is worth millions the government made the decision to place X 101 only in the Southeastern of the U.S. That’s where most crimes happened. 
I remember when they first came. It was the year 2034, sometime in June. In Atlanta Georgia. About 12 o'clock in the afternoon, me and my brother Ricky was walking down the street on our way back home from a party close by. 
“Bro that shit was crazy, as soon as we heard the cops pull’in up, Mir was out. He was like . “ayo the ops”. Everybody dropped they bottles and was gone.” Ricky said with excitement, out of breath.
“Yo, that was too funny though” I replied laughing out loud.
“You think they saw us running Tre”
“Bro, how you think they gonna spot us when the whole party ran too? Plus those pigs don’t care anymore, I don’t even know why they were out there.” 
“Ard” Ricky replied looking down, turning his head to the side.
I stopped him to the side of the wall and gripped his shoulders. 
    “Bro listen, whatever happens, trust me, I promise you, I’ma have ya back no matter what, I got you. It’s tough out here, so we need each other, ard.” 
“Yeah, I feel you”
“Let’s go home!”
 Next thing you know a cop car pulls up right beside us.  “ Oh shit what the fuck is…” My heart started racing. Two walking machines with a police printed on their chest and an “X” printed on their head, came rushing out the car, didn’t say a word and shoved Ricky and me onto the wall. “What the fuck yo, we ain’t do nothing,” I said as they held us stuck to the wall.
 “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right….” as they continued speaking at the same time, Ricky looked at me and started to nod his head. I shook mines back no. Everything went in slow motion after that. Ricky managed to break away as they tried to put the cuff on him. “Ricky”, I yelled out for him. I knew exactly what was going to happen next. As he ran down the street, the bots turned away from the wall, pulled out there guns and shot Ricky dead instantly. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Ricky was my only brother. We took care of each other ever since ma'am started drugs when dad was killed by the police a few years back. Now my lil brother. I broke a promise I just made to him and it’s no fixing that. How could I let this happen?
    They placed me in holding for a couple of days until my court date. The found weed on me as I was getting arrested. I didn’t really care about that, I was dead on the inside. I didn’t care what would happen to me at this point. I continued to blame myself for his death. I wish I could have done something at the time. But those fuck’in machines. They killed Ricky for no reason. We would think the world would be different but it’s all the same. There’s no justice for us.
    My court date finally came. “All rise,” The officers said. I stood before Judge Willis as he sentenced me. I faced down as he spoke.
“For trespass on private property, possession of 5 kg of marijuana. Your penalty will be held as a felony to the subsequent offense, and the murder of Ricky Baker.
My body jerk back, I grew goosebumps all over, my heart started to beep quickly.
“ I plead you guilty, and sentenced you to 50 years in United States Penitentiary Atlanta”
“What?” I interrupted the judge. It was quiet in the courtroom. 
“Excuse me?” Judge Willis leaned forward and said. “ Boy don’t you ever speak out loud in this courtroom ever again.” 
“ You’re accusing me of killing my own brother? Those machines shot him dead and left him there in cold blood.” I was feeling pain in my body.
“That’s a warning Mr. Baker.” He shouted.
I started breathing heavily and walked up to the Judge stand. “ Nah fuck all that. I’m tired of this shit.”
The two guards grabbed me and struggled to pull me out the room. 
“I want Justice for my brother Ricky Baker, for my community, for black lives. I’ma make sure this system gets shut down.” I yelled out as my voice faded out the courtroom. 

It was my first week in Prison. The whole system was now run by the X 101 program. The program was intelligent enough to run on it own. There was not one human guard to be found, they were switched out ever 24 hours with different bots and kept that rotation. It didn’t feel real at first, these bots came out of nowhere and started running the whole city. I couldn’t imagine how it looked back at home. 
 I met up with a couple of old friends I knew who been here for a couple of years now. They never expected to see me. I stayed with them during my time there, they didn’t get into any trouble. 
I wasn’t going to waste my time rotting away in prison. I stuck with my word and found Justice for Ricky. I couldn’t do it alone. It took me about 6 years to plan it out and get the word outside of the prison. Some people I needed to get the job done was either killed by the X machines or placed in prison along with me. It became a little tough to work out. 
One late night, I was laid in my cell, haven’t slept all night, when an X guard came up to me and opened the cell gate.
“Follow me!” It said in a deep-toned voice.
I stood up and followed it down to the front gates of the prison. There waited on the road was a 1989 styled Cadillac limousine with tinted black windows. I had an idea of who it could be, or why they needed me. The bot walked me over to the car placed me in handcuff before putting me in the car. A French man in his late fifties sat there in his all-white suit and smiled. There was a different type of robot who drove the car, we headed towards the neighborhood. 
“Hello, Mr. Baker.” He said with the same smile on his face.
“You must be wondering who I am or why are you here right now, am I correct?”
I stayed silent.
“Well, I am Professor Edwin Xeno, I am the one who owns the X 101 program.” 
    ….”What do you want?” I said softly and calmly. 
    “Let me show you something.” He pulls out a tablet and shows me a video of a black man who set a car on fire, yelling “We want Justice for Ricky Baker.” The X machine tells him to stand down. He then tries to pull out a gun and gets shot up by the machines. 
“Is this your idea of Justice Mr. Baker?”
“What are you talking about”. I replied
“Listen, Mr. Baker, I have eyes and ears all over this city now, in and out of this prison. If you don’t stop this now, it’s only going to get worst.”
“Take a look outside.”
We drove through the city of Atlanta. Passing through streets blocked off by tall gates, and X machines patrolling almost every block. I even saw about three dead bodies lying there as if it was normal. The city became a prison itself. 
“What have you done to this city,” I said as a tear fell from my cheek. I clenched my jaw and stared deep into his eyes.
“No Mr. Baker what have you done. All the riots, incarcerations and deaths you’ve caused to these people Led me no choice but double up the enforcement, with a 24-hour watch.” He took a deep breath.
“ I could have been killed you after I seen how success ya plans has gotten, but I wasn’t gonna let a nobody like you make my creation look like shit… So I fired back.”
At this point, I wanted to take these handcuff around my wrist and choke him to death.
“Now tell me, how are you now going to find Justice for your brother, this community, or black lives? 
Slowly he moved closer to my face.
“You have nothing left.” He whispered in my ear.
I had nothing to say to him. If I was too, I’ll probably be dead right now trying to kill him. He disrespected me, my brother, and my people. I couldn’t let that slide that easy. 
We pulled up back to the front doors of the prison. The same X machine took me out the car. 
“Oh and Mr. Baker?”
I looked in the car before the door closed. 
“I watched the recording of my machines killing your brother.”
“If you know the truth, then why am I still in this hellhole?”
“To get problems like you off the streets.”
The door closed automatically, and he drove off.
I was furious, I felt the boiling hot lava burning in my body. I wasn’t gonna let him win. It was my turn to fire back even harder. 
    10 more years have passed, I’m 35 years of age now. It’s been 5 years now since I’ve broken out of prison. Many sacrificed their lives to get me out. They knew I’ll bring hope to the city. Things have only gotten worse. The X 101 force has spread around the southeastern region of America. I’ve realized there’s no going back to how it used to be. We are now at war. During my time out, I’ve created a party, we called it “The Anti-Automaton party”. Citizens all over America are seeing how wicked the program is. There was no point for a peaceful protest. Many made the decision to joined the rival group and fight the system before it gets even stronger. We’ve strike multiple of their X stations in past 4 years. We started with the closest one, a few miles outside of Atlanta. Just as I promised I gave my city peace and justice. We made sure every last one of those machines was dead and never to be seen in Atlanta again.
 Everywhere we went, we provided nearby community who suffered from the X force, helping the poor get back up on their feet. Many joined the group traveling through the southeastern region saving more lives. But that wasn’t enough for me, I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted something deeper. I still felt like I wanted justice for my Ricky, more like revenge. 
We took everyone we could get, with and without a vehicle. Every weapon we had was loaded and prepare. Armed and ready for the mission. We headed towards the main base where Professor Xeno stayed. It was the highest armed station in America. Where he had newer and upgraded X bots ready to be sent out. We showed no mercy. We pushed forward until we couldn’t anymore. There were flying X jets destroying our tanks, trucks and killing more than 30 men a bomb. I’ve seen my closest friends die right in front of me, I had no choice but to surrender. 
I raised my hands in the sky with nothing in them with a couple others. The X bots lined us up and we watch  Professor Xeno walk up to us.
“Mr. Baker, I always knew we would meet again someday.” He walked back and forth looking at us all. I sat there on my knees with not one drop of energy left in me.
“With me standing up, looking down at you as a failure.” 
“Now, I see you’ve tried so hard to get what you wanted for many years. So I’ll make you an offer. I’ll let the rest of you live and you work for me. Tell the world, X 101 program is not a threat, but it is the future, and it will save the world. Or I’ll kill you myself now.”
I took the strength I had and struggled to stand up. I looked Professor Xeno in the eyes with my chin up.
“Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage.”
 Professor Xeno pulled out a gun from his side and pointed it at my head. I looked up to the sky and smiled. Most may think I failed during this journey, but I’ve shown the world to never give up what truly means to you. This is only the beginning of what’s to come.

Comments (2)

Brendan Hall (Student 2019)
Brendan Hall

I feel that in your story not a single word was wasted. There were pretty much no boring moments from start to finish. It's straightforward, but it hits hard and kept me entertained.